Ross Chastain Dominates In Las Vegas To Win His First NASCAR Xfinity Series Raceby Hunter Thomas September 16, 2018 0 comments
LAS VEGAS – Ross Chastain held off Justin Allgaier in the DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday to capture his first-ever victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Two weekends ago at Darlington Raceway, Chastain had a dominate car until he was involved in an accident with Kevin Harvick. On Saturday in Las Vegas, Chastain once again had another dominate Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet, and he was able to capitalize on the stout performance by keeping Allgaier at bay in the closing laps.
“I expected it after what I felt in practice yesterday,” Chastain said about entering Saturday’s race with the confidence to win. “But I also expected it at Darlington, so I knew that it could get taken away from us. Just like I’m obviously biased, but I feel like it got taken away from us at Darlington.”
During the race, Chastain swept all three stages while leading a race high of 180 laps in the 200-lap race. Allgaier had an opportunity to take over the top spot on a restart with just six laps to go, but he wasn’t able to get around Chastain. After the race, Allgaier said that he believed Chastain and his team were without a doubt the class of the field.
“There’s no question that they were better than we were,” said Allgaier who finished second. “I tried. At the end of the day, I tried to do everything I could to pass him as clean as I could.”
Allgaier finished out the 2018 regular season with five wins, 15 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes en route to earning the regular season championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and Elliott Sadler competed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Ryan Preece, Brandon Jones, Ryan Truex, Austin Cindric and Spencer Gallagher.
There were eight caution for 40 laps in the DC Solar 300. Four of the cautions were for multi-car accidents.
The first accident occurred on lap 7, when contact with Ryan Preece sent Michael Annett through the grass on the frontstretch. Upon impact with the grass, Annett’s frontend tore off, ending his day.
On lap 66, Matt Tifft spun in Turn 4, collecting Ryan Reed who made hard contact. Both drivers ricocheted up the track and slammed the outside wall.
A chain reaction down the backstretch sent Chase Briscoe hard into the inside wall, bringing out the caution on lap 183. Briscoe’s car hit the wall so hard that all four tires left the ground as it got airborne. When the car landed, a fire ignited in the engine. Briscoe climbed from the car under his own power.
“We were all just racing so hard,” Briscoe said. “We were three-wide for pretty much a whole lap around there. There was just no room to go anywhere. I hate it for my 60 guys. We were having a heck of a run and this is by far the most comfortable I have felt in the car. I just hate it.”
The final caution came out with just 10 laps to go, when a contact with Tyler Reddick sent Shane Lee spinning into Turn 1. As Lee spun down the track and back up the banking, he collected his Richard Childress Racing teammate Daniel Hemric who had nowhere to go.
Following Saturday’s race, the 12 drivers competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs will include, Justin Allgaier, Christopher Bell, Elliott Sadler, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain, Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Matt Tifft, Ryan Truex, Austin Cindric and Ryan Reed.
The first race of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs will be held at Richmond Raceway on Friday, September 21. Live coverage of the GoBowling 250 will broadcast on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
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